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Body Facts: How Depression Affects Our Bodies
Health and Wellness Articles by Pulse

Body Facts: How Depression Affects Our Bodies


It is common to think that depression is only an illness of the mind. Often, the symptoms of depression are usually correlated to feelings like sadness, irritability, and hopelessness. Approximately 75% of people with depression also experience other physical symptoms.


Lack of energy & fatigue

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than half of people suffering from depression also experience side effects to their overall body, like low energy and general fatigue.



Depression can cause physical pain anywhere in the body. Many complain of headaches,

stomach, neck, or back pain, and general pain throughout the body. Often, severe pain can be a risk factor for depression, creating a negative feedback loop.


Gastro-intestinal problems (stomach & intestines)

It is common for people with depressive symptoms to also feel nausea, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.


Sleep disturbances

People experiencing depression often experience sleep disorders. These may range from trouble falling or staying asleep, sleeping too much, or always feeling tired even after many

hours of sleep.


High blood pressure & heart disease

Living with depression can cause chronic stress. which is a major risk factor for high blood

pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes.


Weight changes

Living with depression may affect eating habits. Often, people may eat more or less than what they previously ate. Emotional eating can be a common way for people to gain weight, and loss of appetite causes others to lose weight.


It is important to realize that even though depression is a mental condition, it can also cause physical symptoms. Depression may look different for everyone. If you are someone who experiences common depressive symptoms, such as sadness, quilt, hopelessness, or irritability, along with any physical symptoms, it is important to speak to your doctor about everything you are experiencing.